The Oukraal Trail is a unique and little known trail in the Gamkaberg Mountains close to Calitzdorp, off the R62. It is an out and back trail through the Tierkloof Valley and emerging high on the top of the Gamkaberg Ridge with views over the Outeniqua Mountains to the east and the Swartberg to the west. The overnight accommodation at the start is in ‘glamping’ style tents in the Gamkaberg Nature Reserve, while the accommodation on the trail is in simple wooden, A-frame shelters with beds and mattresses. The kitchen is a fireplace in a natural rock shelter, with magnificent views of the mountains.
Gamkaberg Nature Reserve
Local transport options: away from any public transport hub, self-drive or transport by arrangement with tour operator.
Trip Duration / Options
Option 1: 2 days / 2 nights
Option 2: Extra night on return
Start / Finish
Start: Gamkaberg Nature Reserve Camp – GPS: 33˚67’08.15 S / 21˚88’86.74 E
Finish: As above
Daily Time / Distances
Day 1: 14km / 6 hrs
Day 2: 11km / 2.5 hrs
Day 1 should be regarded as strenuous with day 2 being mostly downhill, a more moderate hike. A long uphill trek at the end of day can be quite tough, particularly in hot weather. No scrambling or exposure.
A high degree of overall and hiking fitness required
Technical detail / Terrain
On path, steep terrain in places; no technical exposure; no scrambling.
Mountain terrain with long steep section on the outward route towards the end of the day. The valley is prone to occasional heavy rain and there is some variation in the path after rain. Mostly well defined path with some loose stones and uneven surfaces underfoot. Good hiking boots essential.
1 Night – in luxury tented camp; 1 night in a basic shelter with beds and mattresses.
Comfortable beds with bedding and towels in the ‘glamping’ tents; own sleeping bags, pillows and towels in the shelter (sleeping bags available by arrangement with Slackpacker SA)
Food Supply / Catering
This is a fully catered trail with lunch packs both days, dinner, breakfast and hot beverages supplied. Cold beverages / drinks for own account.
Logistic support / Guiding
Main luggage is transported to the camp and can be left there while on the trail. Sleeping bags need to be carried on the trail, as well as a limited amount of food for two lunch packs and overnight dinner. Water is available at the shelter.
The trail is guided by a fully trained, accredited mountain guide
The view from the top of the Gamkaberg over the Outeniqua Mountains and Swartberg Mountains, and the natural rock shelter kitchen.
Wine / Port tasting in Calitzdorp. Visit to the ostrich farms of Oudtshoorn
Fauna & Flora
The core of the ‘fynbos’ biome and part of the Cape Floristic Region World Heritage Site. There are Cape mountain zebra, eland and bontebok in the reserve, these are sometimes seen on the trail. Mostly nocturnal and shy small animals, occasional small antelope and rock hyrax. Lizards and agamas with good birdlife in the valley.
The Gamkaberg is in the Little Karoo with a dry and hot climate in summer and cold and occasionally wet in winter. It is influenced by the Mediterranean climate with winter rainfall, but being in a transition zone there can be rain in summer. Summer can be very hot (up to 35 degrees). Spring and Autumn are moderate and the best hiking season although good winter days can be quite warm and summer temperatures are seldom high for long periods. Hiking is possible all year round, but with caution in the summer months
Seasonality & Best Time Year
Spring and Autumn are moderate and the best hiking season although good winter days can be quite warm and summer temperatures are seldom high for long periods.
Minimum 2 persons – maximum 8 persons (recommended group size 6 to 8)
2 days / 2 night Oukraal Trail
R3500 pp – for a group 6 people, (excluding transport to the reserve). Price on application for smaller groups.
Price review date: 1 November annually
- Entry to Gamkaberg Nature Reserve
- 2 nights Accommodation
- All Meals: Dinner, Breakfast & Packed lunch on hike days
- Local Hiking Guide
- Luggage Transfers & Vehicle Support by arrangement
Wine tasting at Caliztdorp
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Scheduled Oukraal Trails
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